Westchester County, N.Y.

Posted on May 1, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

Operators in New York’s Westchester County historically built their companies by providing transportation to travelers visiting nearby New York City for business and pleasure. Recently, business travel has increased in the county as more corporations open up there.

Westchester County Taxicab and Limousine Commission began in 1997. It was the first TLC established outside of New York City’s, which started in 1971. By mirroring the city’s TLC rules, Westchester gets reciprocity for its operators traveling on intercity jobs.

* Business travel in Westchester County continues to recover in the wake of 9/11 as a growing number of corporations are finding the county an attractive place to set up shop, due in part to its proximity to New York City.
* Westchester operators serve the following airports: Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, Westchester County and Stewart.

Number of Operators
* There are 206 base stations and more than 2,500 individual drivers registered with the WCTLC.
* Nearly all of these companies are based in Westchester County, although operators from as far away as Albany and Utica pay to maintain TLC status.
* The largest operators in Westchester County generally run sedan-based fleets that concentrate on corporate travel. Operators with smaller fleets run a larger percentage of limousines and tend to focus mainly on airport transfers and traditional retail work like proms, weddings and nights-out.

Average Rates
Every year companies must submit their rates with the WTLC when they register. * Sedans: $50-$55
* SUVs: $60-$70
* 6-passenger limos: $65-$75
* 8-passenger limos: $90-$100
* 10-packs: $110-$125
* SUV Limos: $225-$250
* 10- and 14-passenger vans: $60-$75
* Minibuses: $95-$110
* Buses: $125

Regulatory Issues
* The Westchester County Taxicab & Limousine Commission was formed in 1997, and began regulating the following year. It was formed to help ensure passenger safety and facilitate reciprocity for operators with the New York TLC. Regulations mirror those of New York City, including fingerprinting and drug testing.
* There are 11 commission members (including the chairperson) that represent taxicab and limousine operators, and the public sector.
Commissioners are appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the board of legislatures. They serve seven-year terms.
* The WCTLC regulates drivers, taxis, sedans, limousine, vans and many smaller minibuses (19-passengers or less). The New York Department of Transportation regulates vehicles with larger passenger capacities.
* Operators in Westchester pay $275 per vehicle per year to perform point-to-point work within the county. As part of a reciprocal agreement with New York City’s TLC, those operators can also do prearranged pickups and drop-offs in the city, but not point-to-point.
* Operators from outside of Westchester pay $250 per year per vehicle to do prearranged pickups and drop-offs in the county. Only operators with a base station in Westchester or an affiliation with a Westchester-based company can do point-to-point within the county.
* Driver’s pay a one-time fee of $175, which covers state fees, fingerprinting, drug test, and background check one time fee. Renewal costs $100 and only requires drug screenings.

What’s Unique
* Most limousine companies in Westchester are employee-based, as opposed to independent contractors based.
* Westchester County opened the first Taxicab and Limousine Commission, outside of New York City.
* The WCTLC receives a surprisingly low number of consumer complaints – an average of 20 per year.
Local Associations * Westchester County no longer has a local limousine association. Westchester’s Limousine Industry Council was disbanded when the former president, Pat O’Kane, passed away. Many of the board members of the LIC became commissioners for the TLC.
* Companies typically turn to the TLC when problems arise. To the commission’s credit, operators have found no reason to reorganize their local association.

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